Homeground Grill & Bar

The hype: Two female best friends decided to buck the trend and open a grill—in the heart of Boon Keng, as a “home ground” or go-to space for all their friends in the neighbourhood. Unpretentious and homely, the space serves hearty fare fresh off the grill, with a list of light drinks to balance out the smoky flavours.

The vibe: Cosy and comfortable, the 30-seater space along Serangoon Road beckons you in with its modern industrial-chic aesthetic and neon-lit quotes adorning the walls. Further inside, a snug nook furnished with fairy lights and reading material gives diners the option of more privacy.

The food: Co-founder and head chef Nellie started her culinary journey on a charcoal grill, and never looked back since. The menu is concise to showcase this star feature, with charcoal-grilled meats and seafood commandeering the options. Tear into the likes of the Charcoal Grilled Whisky Ribeye ($26) and Charcoal Grilled Chicken ($15)—the former marinated in whisky for a slight, unexplainable tang; the latter tender and juicy with crispy sweet skin.

The homemade sauces here are definitely worth a mention—Homeground’s red wine reduction sauce adds layers to the already whisky-soaked beef; while the garlic sauce has a punchy kick that goes well with all of the meats. Going beyond the usual beer-battered wings, the two (self-professed alcoholics) experiment with various spirits in their marinades.

But it’s the seafood that unexpectedly shines. The Charcoal Grilled Salmon ($18) is cooked just right, with a spot-on mouth feel sweetened by a malt glaze. For easy sharing and greater value, the Grilled Meat Platter ($58) and Homeground Mixed Platter ($72) offer a taste of all the mains—though we’d say get the latter or the Seagrill ($48), both of which come with the salmon and a divine trio of garlic tiger prawns buttered to perfection.

These you should complement with Homeground’s selection of light bites and bar grub—by no means an afterthought—that range from Truffle Fries ($10) to Potato Skins & Sour Cream ($8), to creamy Truffle Mash ($10) and a Grilled Portobello Mushroom ($7) bathed in garlic butter—warm, hearty, and bursting with juices.

The drinks: Not to be outdone in value and creativity is the beverage menu. Homeground prides itself on being a go-to for comforting drinks after work (or whatever time of the day); so you’ll find a decent selection of spirits from $12 a glass, ice-cold beers from $10, and even house wines from $10.

You’ll want to try the five house cocktails though, shaken up by co-founder and bar manager Chrystal. Moondust ($16) is a subtle vodka-watermelon mix that leans fruity; but if you’re in for a flavour explosion, get the Heavenly Tea ($18) that combines whisky and tie guan yin tea, or our favourite Smoky Bastard ($17)—a Christmastime concoction of rum, apple and tonic smoked liberally with cinnamon.

Why you’ll be back: Good meats grilled with sincerity and a grossly affordable menu make Homeground an instant winner that residents in the area are lucky to have. We’ll be back to conquer all the bar bites; and plus points for the cafe aesthetic—a pleasantly unconventional setup for a grill.